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AI Predictions: Racing Down the Rabbit Hole or Just a Hare-Brained Guess?

January 6, 2024

A Rollercoaster of Predictions: How Fast Are We Really Going?

So, I stumbled upon this delightfully perplexing paper, or rather a tweet about it (because who reads papers these days, right?), titled "Thousands of AI Authors on the Future of AI". It's like a sci-fi convention but in academic form. The paper reveals a startling drop in AI predictions – think of it as a clearance sale on future forecasts, everything must go, prices slashed by up to 48 years!

AI’s Crystal Ball: Better, Faster, Cheaper… and Maybe Sooner?

The crux of the matter revolves around two milestones: full automation of labor (because who enjoys actual work?) and high-level machine intelligence (HLMI), which is essentially machines outsmarting us at everything, including finding the remote control. The predictions for these milestones have nosedived faster than my motivation on a Monday morning. We're talking about a 13-year drop, from 2060 to 2047, for HLMI, and a whopping 48-year plunge for full automation of labor. At this rate, we might wake up tomorrow to find robots making our coffee – or writing blog posts like this one.

The Emotional Rollercoaster of AI Predictions

But here's the kicker: these aren't just cold, hard data points. Oh no, they're marinated in human emotion and cognitive biases. It's like asking your grandmother when she thinks flying cars will be a thing – her answer might be more about her comfort level with the idea than the actual technology. This survey is less about AI's capabilities and more about how comfortable we are with our future robot overlords.

Moore’s Law: The Timeless Trendsetter

Now, let's talk about Moore's Law, our reliable old friend predicting the pace of technological growth. It's like that one relative who always predicts the weather accurately. According to Moore's Law, computational power doubles every 18 months or so, which means we're galloping towards a future where machines could potentially write better jokes than this one.

AI's Breakneck Speed: Are We Keeping Up?

As we stand in 2024, looking back at predictions, it's like watching a time-lapse video of a flower blooming – rapid, beautiful, and slightly unnerving. The trajectory points to AI's capabilities surpassing human intelligence sooner than you can say "Skynet". We're talking about language models that can code, translate, and probably even write love letters better than us.

The Human Element: Fear, Skepticism, and Denial

But let's not forget the human element in all this. Predicting the advent of AGI (Artificial General Intelligence) isn't just about data; it's about our emotional readiness to accept this new reality. And as we've seen, some people react to these advancements like they've seen a ghost – first with disbelief, then with a begrudging acceptance, and finally, fascination.

In Conclusion: Embracing the Inevitable

So, there you have it – a whirlwind tour of AI predictions, human biases, and the ever-accelerating pace of technological advancement. Whether we're emotionally ready or not, the future is barreling towards us like a runaway train, and it's filled with smart machines, possibly brewing better coffee and writing wittier blog posts.

Stay tuned, stay skeptical, but most importantly, stay adaptable. Because, like it or not, the future doesn't just knock on your door – it hacks the smart lock.

Summary

  • Rapid shift in AI predictions from 2022 to 2023, with significant reductions in the estimated time to achieve major milestones.
  • The role of human emotions and cognitive biases in shaping these predictions.
  • Moore's Law as a consistent predictor of technological growth.
  • The increasing capabilities of AI, moving towards surpassing human intelligence.
  • The need for emotional readiness and adaptability in the face of rapid technological advancements.

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